Authors: Robert Boren
Bug Out! Part 7
Mile High Motorhomes
Robert G Boren
Frank and Jane made it safely to Colorado, with all of their group intact. They set up in a remote, rustic RV Park owned by Gabe. This park was more easily fortified than other places they’ve been, so they take steps to make it as safe as possible, knowing in the back of their minds that it is also a good place to get trapped. They get attacked there, but turn the tables and capture a high ranking enemy leader named Simon Orr. They also meet General Hogan, and learn that all of the enemy fighters have a new kind of RFID chip implanted in them. That’s been how the enemy is able to coordinate attacks and infiltrate the army. Frank starts work on cracking the chips, while the group is attacked again and again. Frank sees that there are pictures of all of their group being fed to Jihadi web sites. They know they’re being hunted. Frank hacks into camera systems in the Utah National Parks and finds that the enemy has a large base inside the Capitol Reef National Park. How do they stay alive and take out the enemy leadership? Can they stay in Colorado, or will they have to flee further east?
“Dobermans, eh?” Frank said.
“How are we going to keep them from attacking the residents?”
“And the other pets?” Jasmine asked.
“I’ll be powerful mad if one of these dogs messes with Miss Lucy,” Jeb said.
“Don’t worry, they’re well trained,” Gabe said. “Dobie’s going to introduce everybody to the dogs. They’ll think you’re family. Trust me. I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.”
“How many is he bringing?” Jane asked, still holding Lucy.
“Four,” Gabe said. “That’s all he has right now. I’m going to put him up in one of the park model trailers back there. He wants to move here anyway…says he doesn’t like what’s been going on around town.”
Jane looked over at Frank. He looked back at her with his ‘we’ll talk later’ look.
“I say we get cleaned up, and then have a venison feed tonight,” Jeb said.
“I’m game for cooking up some venison,” Hilda said. “I’ll bet Rosie will help too. Maybe we can teach each other a thing or two.”
“Great!” Gabe said. “I’ll break some side dishes out of the deep freeze.”
“Gonna pull back the bridge?” Jerry asked.
“Yeah, for now,” Gabe said.
“Good. We need to talk about a better way to open and close that thing. If something happens to that backhoe, we’re in trouble.”
“I know, Jerry, been thinking on that,” Gabe said. “Maybe we can share some ideas after dinner.”
“I’m game,” Jerry said. He looked over at Jasmine. “Shall we collect Rosie and kick back in the coach for a while?”
“Let’s check with her,” Jasmine said. “She might just want to hang out there.”
“Okay,” Jerry said. They went off towards the clubhouse.
“Let’s go back to the coach,” Jane said to Frank. He nodded in agreement, and they started walking, Lucy bounding along behind them.
“You’re worried about the dogs,” Frank said.
“Of course,” she said. “This place is starting to remind me more of a prison than an RV Park.”
Frank laughed. “Didn’t expect to hear you say that.”
“I know, I must sound downright nuts,” she said. “I’ll get over it.”
They got to the coach, and Frank unlocked the door. He pulled it open. Mr. Wonderful tried to slip out, but Frank caught him.
“He needs some attention,” Jane said. “We’re only in here to sleep, it seems like.”
“I know,” Frank said. “We have a couple of hours before dinner. Let’s just relax for a while.”
“Maybe we should leave Lucy in the coach tonight, so we don’t have any confrontations,” Jane said.
“Maybe. We can think about it.”
Frank sat down on the couch, and clicked on the TV with the remote. Mr. Wonderful jumped up on his lap, and started marching and purring.
“Mind if I nap for a little while?” Jane asked.
“Sure, go ahead. I’ll just watch a little TV.”
He turned on a news channel to see what was going on. There was a panel discussion going on - about martial law, replacement of the president, and gun control.
“This ought to be good,” Frank muttered to himself. The panel had an establishment Republican, a social conservative Republican, a moderate Democrat, a libertarian, and a progressive Democrat. It was a lively discussion.
“You can’t judge the whole party by the crimes of a rogue president,” the progressive said. “He was just using our ideology as a smoke screen.”
“We aren’t,” said the establishment Republican said, “but we’ll have a big problem with a continuation of his policies. Martial law in the big cities? No, that isn’t justified, and it doesn’t make sense at all. The people won’t stand for it, either, in case you didn’t notice.”
“I’m not saying that we should go back to that everywhere,” the progressive said. “We need to protect minorities, though. Especially moderate Muslims.”
“We have existing laws,” the moderate Democrat said. “I think we need to work together to enforce them, maybe to bolster them in some areas. That will protect people of color. Going overboard with this again isn’t going to help, though. It’ll shut down our party for a generation. ”
“There are way too many guns in the hands of citizens in these big cities,” the progressive Democrat said.
“Haven’t you been paying attention?” the libertarian said. “What do you think saved our bacon in a lot of these areas? It wasn’t the army. Why do you guys always want to water down the Bill of Rights? When will you admit that the people are smart enough to manage themselves?”
“Lack of strong gun control laws led to the formation of the militias,” the progressive said. “Forgetting that?”
“Over-reach of the government is what spawned the militias, not lack of gun control,” the libertarian said. “Some bad people used that to their advantage. Don’t try to paint all gun owners as potential militia members. Normal armed citizens have been fighting those folks.”
“We need to lead the country,” the establishment Republican said. “We need to get commerce going again, and help the world to rebuild. Fighting with each other over policies that have been debated and debated and debated won’t help.”
“I don’t like what you Wall Street folks want to do,” the progressive said. “You’ll just give the bankers and corporations a free hand. The result will be a larger disparity between rich and poor than we’ve ever had before. That’ll start a revolution.”
“No it won’t,” the social conservative said. “Breakdown of the family and our sick society is the problem. We have no moral center anymore. This whole thing was predictable.”
“Will you guys listen to yourselves?” the libertarian said. “Seriously. You social conservatives want to censor everything and tell people who they can marry, what they can read, what they can do with their bodies. Breakdown of our society didn’t cause this mess. We were invaded from outside, largely by people who follow another fundamentalist ideology. And then there’s the opposite side…progressives. You folks want an even bigger amount of control over the individual, from pre-school to old age. You push your own brand of fundamentalism…worship of the collective and its leaders. You moderate Democrats and establishment Republicans just want the status quo. I think the American people are done with all of you.”
The establishment Republican laughed. “You libertarians wanted a free for all, and it looks to me like your anarchist wing got exactly what they wanted. Meanwhile, who’s going to get production going again? Where’s the food going to come from? How will we move it from place to place? Who’s going to keep medicine going? Who’s going to take care of the old, the infirm?”
“I’m agreeing with that,” the moderate Democrat said. “Big problem.”
“Your uncontrolled society will make scapegoats of anybody they don’t like,” the progressive said. “You think everybody working in their own ‘rational self-interest’ will behave themselves. They won’t. We’re all in this together. We have to help each other. We need a tighter society, not a society of selfish disconnected individuals. We need social and economic justice. We need to move the focus away from the individual, and towards the greater society as a whole.”
“That all sounds very good to the weak minded,” the libertarian said, “until people see how you guys go about getting to this utopia you have in mind for all of us. Control over the individual by other individuals always leads to conflict. You guys aren’t any smarter than the people you feel the right or the obligation to herd like sheep. Maybe you ought to just let people live their own lives.”
Jane came back out into the salon just as Frank was clicking the TV off in anger.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Our society has a long way to go.”
“You were watching something that riled you up?”
“Panel discussion. All of the popular points of view have a kernel of truth in them, but all of them ignore an equally important piece of the puzzle, which really ruins the mix. I wouldn’t want any of them to get absolute control, I’ll tell you that. Not even the ones I tend to agree with more.”
“Our government structure is still intact, though, right?”
“For the moment,” Frank said. “Assuming it survives the attempted coup and impeachment, that is.”
“Then we go on as we always have, Frank. We go to the polls and vote for who we agree with most. We hold people in government accountable.”
“You make it sound so easy.”
“Government isn’t easy, and our founders knew it. That’s why they put all of the checks and balances into our system. We’ll get ourselves into bad times every so often, but we almost always come out of it without bloodshed, and our system continues to stand. I wouldn’t lose hope for our country. We’ll get past this, just like we got past the Civil War. We’ll eventually be a stronger nation because of it.”
“I hope you’re right. Thought you were going to nap.”
“I couldn’t get to sleep. Too keyed up.”
“Oh. Want me to turn the TV back on?”
“Not on my account.” She came over and sat next to Frank, who still had Mr. Wonderful on his lap. She petted him, causing him to purr loudly. Lucy decided she wanted to join them, so she jumped up on Jane’s lap. They sat their silently for a while, and then dozed off.
They were awakened by a knock on the door. Frank got up, causing Mr. Wonderful to jump to the ground and run into the bedroom. Lucy growled. Frank opened the door. It was Jerry.
“Hey, Jerry, what’s up?”
“I just had a crazy thought. Couldn’t wait to run it by you.”
“Did you try to use an LTE signal to excite those chips?”
“We’ve had them around cell phones,” Frank said. “Let’s sit down.” They walked out under the awning and sat in the chairs. It was late afternoon now, but the temperature was still comfortable.
“What’re you thinking?” Frank asked.
“Remember when you were trying to get readings, and told everybody to turn off their cellphones?”
“Yes,” Frank said.
“Did you ever get a reading on the chips outside of the lead box, when the cellphones were on?”
“No, as a matter of fact,” Frank said. “I had everybody turn off their cellphones before I took the chips out of the box and tried to find a signal.”
“That’s what I thought,” Jerry said. “We need to try that again.”
“Okay. What made this pop into your head?”
“I just couldn’t think of a way that the enemy could activate these chips. They don’t have access to a satellite…I’m pretty sure of that. They need to use something that freely exists, available to anybody who knows how to use it. I’m thinking that these guys excite the chips with LTE, and the chips send a message out, back over the same system and onto the internet. It would get easily lost in the traffic if nobody knew what to look for.”
“Makes a lot of sense, Jerry. When are you going back to the clubhouse?”
“As soon as Rosie and Jasmine are ready. Rosie wants to look her best for Jeb.”
“Yeah, I’ll bet she does,” Frank said with a grin. “Seen the dog guy show up yet?”
“Nope, but I haven’t been looking. He might have slipped in without me noticing it.”